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Housing, Health and the Ongoing Crisis for Inuit in Canada

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NAHO Speaker Series, March 1, 2012 Presented by:
Cathleen Knotsch
Senior Research Officer

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Housing, Health and the Ongoing Crisis for Inuit in Canada

  1. 1. Housing, health and the ongoing crisis for Inuit in Canada Presented by: Cathleen Knotsch Senior Research Officer
  2. 2. <ul><li>Who we are and how we work </li></ul><ul><li>Our work on housing </li></ul><ul><li>Our latest report: addressing the ongoing housing crisis for Inuit in Canada </li></ul><ul><li>Some preliminary notes from the 2012 workshop on housing </li></ul><ul><li>Research gaps, needs and recommendations </li></ul>This presentation
  3. 4. Promoting Inuit well-being Inuit Nunangat St. John’s Montreal Ottawa Winnipeg Edmonton Yellowknife Vancouver
  4. 5. Knowledge Translation Tools Inuit healing practices workshop, 2009 Canada’s peer-reviewed Journal on Aboriginal Health 2008 and 2012 workshop on housing
  5. 6. <ul><li>Series began with the 2008 workshop </li></ul><ul><li>Several documents on housing </li></ul><ul><li>2011 report on housing as an important determinant of health </li></ul><ul><li>2012 workshop </li></ul>Health and housing realities for Inuit 2012 WORKSHOP on housing
  6. 7. Inuit are not as healthy as the rest of Canada <ul><li>Life expectancy in Inuit Nunangat was an average 12.2 years less than for all of Canada as a whole during 1999-2003, and this gap was shown to have been widening. </li></ul><ul><li>Infant mortality in Inuit Nunangat is almost 3 times that of Canada as a whole. </li></ul><ul><li>The mortality rate for Inuit Nunangat was twice that of Canada as a whole. </li></ul><ul><li>Suicide/self-inflicted injury, respiratory disease, and unintentional injury are among the highest causes of death in Inuit Nunangat . </li></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>Hospitalization rates for Inuit children with severe lower respiratory tract infections are the highest in the world: </li></ul><ul><li>300 per year for 1,000 infants (Baffin region) </li></ul><ul><li>There is a strong association between indoor CO2 levels and the risk of lower respiratory tract infection among Inuit infants and young children </li></ul>Indoor air quality – infectious diseases
  8. 9. Tuberculosis in Canada, 2009 Source: Public Health Agency of Canada, 2010. Tuberculosis in Canada 2009. Ottawa, Minister of Health. Table 3.
  9. 10. Source: Statistics Canada, Census of population, 2006, Table 9. Living in crowded dwellings
  10. 11. <ul><li>“ In 2006, the Inuit were the youngest Aboriginal identity group, with a median age of 22 years. </li></ul><ul><li>By 2031, […] the median age of the Inuit population would be between 31 and 32. ” </li></ul>Considering demographics
  11. 12. Source: Statistics Canada. 2008. Analytical paper – Aboriginal Children’s Survey, 2006: Family, community and child care. Table 3.3, p.43. Children living in crowded dwellings
  12. 13. <ul><li>Crowding as a chronic source of stress </li></ul><ul><li>Crowding can lead to frustration, anger, violence, spousal abuse and increase in crime levels </li></ul><ul><li>Crowding has a negative impact on learning outcomes and behaviour </li></ul>Crowding and well-being Hudson’s Bay building
  13. 14. <ul><li>Multiple trauma and cumulative impacts at individual levels </li></ul><ul><li>Crowding conditions create (chronic) stress, lead to physical diseases and unhealthy coping behaviours </li></ul><ul><li>Local treatment capacities/facilities lacking in communities </li></ul><ul><li>Language and cultural barriers in urban centres </li></ul>2012 Workshop – mental health
  14. 15. <ul><li>Aging dwellings requiring repair </li></ul><ul><li>Wear and tear due to cold climate </li></ul><ul><li>Climate appropriate housing technology means inclusion of local knowledge and practices in construction </li></ul>Housing quality Downtown Iqaluit, Nunavut. Photo: Cathleen Knotsch
  15. 16. Source: Statistics Canada. 2008. Analytical paper – Aboriginal Children’s Survey, 2006: Family, community and child care. Table 3.3, p.43. Children living in dwellings requiring repair
  16. 17. <ul><li>Crowding contributes to migration to urban centres </li></ul><ul><li>Urban Inuit population is growing fast (about 22 per cent in 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Homeless population increasing – Montreal action plan against homelessness; Makivik negotiates the first Inuit case worker to help homeless women in Montreal </li></ul>Housing and urban experiences
  17. 18. <ul><li>Determinants of health research is still in its infancy (identifying points for intervention ) </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative health research with communities on housing conditions and their influence on health is sporadic (local relevancy ) </li></ul><ul><li>Policy research is needed (identify existing policies for adjustment to improve the situation) </li></ul>The need for solution-oriented research
  18. 19. Thank You Qujannamik Nakurmik Koana Merci Iqalugarjuk, Nunavut. Photo: Cathleen Knotsch
  19. 20. <ul><li>Cathleen Knotsch </li></ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Dianne Kinnon </li></ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Web site: www.naho.ca/inuit </li></ul><ul><li>Housing documents are posted at: www.naho.ca/inuit/health-determinants/housing / </li></ul>Contact

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